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Flora: ‘Thank you to everyone back in Bermuda who has been supporting me’

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Flora Duffy of Bermuda celebrates her gold medal victory in the women's individual triathlon competition at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Tuesday, July 27, 2021, in Tokyo, Japan. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

Olympic champion Flora Duffy says the congratulations she has received from everyone who had been with her on her triathlon journey “since I was a little kid“ shows “it’s not just my medal, it is our medal”.

Ms Duffy, who became Bermuda’s first gold medal winner when she crossed the line in the triathlon, has been interviewed constantly since her victory.

In an interview with SportsMax she said: “Thank you to everyone back in Bermuda who has been supporting me.” She also said the scale of her achievement had not yet dawned on her as she was so busy preparing for the race.

“It was pretty cool to see that raw emotion from everyone,” said Ms Duffy on the reaction to her win.

In a Thursday interview she told triathlon.org: “You come into the game, you have a good race, and then your world just explodes.”

She said everyone she had “been on this journey with since I was a little kid” had seen her win and was messaging their congratulations and excitement.

She added: “So many people have connections to Bermuda and realise how special this is … it’s not just my medal; it’s our medal”.

In the aftermath of the race, she said she had watched videos of her family arriving to watch her compete with onlookers at the packed bar in Docksider’s bar back home, and her feelings at seeing “the people that have come out to support”.

She added that the “ups and down in my career” had lingered into early this year as she recovered form an injury late in 2020, until “I finally found my groove, training started to go really well, and things just changed”.

Ms Duffy described how running in the final stretch, she didn’t think she would race to this level again – feeling “the pressure and expectation of coming in as Bermuda’s only medal hope in 40 years”.

She said she knew few people in Tokyo were aware of her Bermudian back story.

“I think it’s a different level when you’re your country’s only medal hope,” she said.

“It definitely does add a degree of expectation and pressure.”

She also described her excitement at the prospect of coming back to the island, even though a return date has yet to be decided and she needed to work out “exactly what celebration they want to have”.

“I’m sure it’s going to be a pretty crazy time.”

Although she plans to take her upcoming racing “month by month”, Ms Duffy said she had her sights firmly set on the World Triathlon Championships set for Bermuda this October.

In her interview with CNN, she said winning the medal was her dream ever since she was a little girl. “I know how much it means for everyone in Bermuda and to be a woman who has done that it is pretty special.”

She added: “I have seen messages and video from people n Bermuda going crazy. I hope it inspires others in Bermuda.”

Readers can watch Flora’s CNN interview here.

Ms Duffy was also congratulated by Hollywood legend and former Bermuda resident Michael Douglas, who said in a Facebook video: “I have got to make a shout-out here to Flora Duffy who won the gold medal in the triathlon.

“Flora is from Bermuda, my mother’s home country. I believe, I have been told that this is the only gold medial for the smallest and the least populated country in the Olympics. So congratulations to Flora Duffy and to Bermuda.”

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Published July 31, 2021 at 8:18 am (Updated July 31, 2021 at 8:18 am)

Flora: ‘Thank you to everyone back in Bermuda who has been supporting me’

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